Study on behalf of European Commission: Familiarity with the term "biodiversity" has increased
On 4 November 2013 the results of the "Flash Eurobarometer 379 – Attitudes towards biodiversity" were published. The survey had been carried out in the then 27 Member States of the European Union and Croatia between 26 and 28 June 2013.
Some 25,537 respondents from different social and demographic groups were interviewed via telephone in their mother tongue on behalf of the European Commission. Familiarity with the term "biodiversity" has increased compared with the previous survey in 2010. Across the EU, slightly less than half of Europeans have heard of the term and know what it means (44%). Three in ten have heard of it but don't know what it means (30%) and slightly more than a quarter have never heard of it (26%). Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: "It's good to see that public opinion is increasingly aware of how important biodiversity is. I hope political leaders will translate this concern into tangible action to deliver what we have agreed in the EU Biodiversity Strategy."
Nine in ten Europeans believe that the decline of forests, climate change, the endangering and disappearance of animals, the decline of natural habitats and the endangering of some plants are all serious problems. Approximately two thirds of Europeans totally agree that the EU should increase the areas where nature is protected in Europe (65%).
Roughly four in ten respondents (38%) say that they make a personal effort to protect biodiversity. For the vast majority this means simple actions such as respecting nature by, for example, not leaving waste on the forest or on the beach. This was by far the most common action that Europeans take personally to protect against biodiversity loss. Only a minority is proactive in a more comprehensive way, for example by participating in citizens' projects dedicated to biodiversity (15 %).
Europeans generally think that biodiversity will have an impact on them or their children, but only a minority think that it is already affecting them. Fewer than one in five respondents say that they are already affected by loss of biodiversity (16%).
Results in a nutshell in the press release: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-1018_en.htm or summary: http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/flash/fl_379_sum_en.pdf
Complete results: http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/flash/fl_379_en.pdf